After recently launching its emergency room-focused diagnostic for catching early cases of sepsis, Cytovale has raised $84 million in venture capital funding to bolster the system’s rollout.
According to the San Francisco-based company, sepsis contributes to more than one-third of all in-hospital deaths—more than 350,000 annually in the U.S.—with about 80% of patients with the bloodstream condition spending at least some time in the ER.
Sepsis as a whole accounts for about $62 billion in U.S. hospitalization costs and is more prevalent than heart attacks and stroke combined. It can go undiagnosed, however, with symptoms similar to a range of other infections and conditions.
Cytovale announced the first placements of its IntelliSep testing platform this past August. It aims to offer a diagnosis for adult patients showing signs of an infection in under 10 minutes. By analyzing white blood cells from a standard sample, IntelliSep assigns patients to one of three risk groups based on their probability of developing sepsis within the next three days. The system obtained an FDA clearance in December 2022.
“Sepsis is one of the most deadly, complex and costly conditions faced by hospitals. Until now, healthcare providers have lacked a fast and reliable test to inform treatment paths,” Zack Scott, a general partner at Norwest Venture Partners, which led Cytovale’s series C round, said in a statement.
“Offering the first early-detection test on the market, Cytovale has the incredible potential to dramatically improve how our healthcare system gets the right care to the right patients at the right time,” Scott continued.
The round was joined by new backers in Sands Capital and Global Health Investment Corporation. Cytovale also said the financing included other new and existing investors, as well as the conversion of bridge notes.
Cytovale’s IntelliSep system takes tens of thousands of cells from a blood sample and prods them for a reaction—literally by applying physical pressure. Squeezing the cells leads to varying responses, with white blood cells acting differently between septic and non-septic patients in patterns that can be picked up with machine learning programs.
According to the company, after debuting its system in emergency departments at the Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, IntelliSep was able to reduce the number of “all-hands-on-deck alerts” by 80% compared to previous approaches.